Sunday Spotlight: Candle Making

Learn how every ingredient affects the the candle making process

Posted by Jeffrey Knapton on

Today’s Sunday Spotlight is going to focus on the candle making process and how every ingredient used will ultimately affect the candle’s appearance and burn. It’s important to remember candle making is not an exact science; you will have to go through a trial and error process to find what works best for you.

 

Keep in mind that candle ingredients and outside forces play a factor during your candle making process.  

 

Here are just a few factors that have an impact on your candle:

 

  1. Temperature

  2. Wax

  3. Wicks

  4. Dyes

  5. Fragrances

 

Whether you are a new candle maker or a seasoned veteran, you should be aware that every ingredient in a candle affects its final appearance. If something does not look or burn correctly you should know how to find the problem. And the best way to find the problem is to isolate all the different factors.

 

  1. Temperature
    This includes a wide range of factors including: the wax heating temperature, adding in the dye and color after the wax is heated, pouring the wax at a certain temperature, the weather, the container temperature, and more. Those temperatures can determine a candle’s finish look, how quickly it cools, and more. In March I discussed the importance of temperature in the candle making process, so please refer to that post to learn more.


  1. Wax & Wicks
    If you believe the temperature is not the problem, then try testing the wax and wick. Start with making a candle using only the wax and wick to see how it burns. If you notice the burn is uneven (make sure the wick is centered in the jar), the burn pool is too small or large (try a different sized wick), or there is a smoky flame the problem may be the wick. Try testing out different wicks to see if you get a better result.


  1. Dyes
    If you confirmed that the above factors problem are not the problem, make a candle only using the wax, wick, and dye. If you see small carbon balls on the wick or there is a smoky flame the dye may be clogging your wick. Try adding less dye to the mixture and see if the results are better.

  2. Fragrances
    So far you have checked the temperature, wax, wick, and dye and there still doesn’t seem to be a problem, so the next step is testing your fragrance. Make two test candles this time. One candle with the wax, wick, and fragrance and another candle with the wax, wick, dye, and fragrance. Then conduct a test burn on both candles. Review both candles, to see which one gives you the best response. If both candles are still not burning properly make two more test candles, but use less fragrance. Sometimes too much fragrance can create smoky burns.


Overall, it’s important to always be aware of what ingredients you are using in your candles. Creating and testing candles is a lengthy process, but it can help to discover the problem and help you create the best candle possible.